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Thursday, May 6, 2010

My favorite spinach salad

This is a combination of several spinach salad recipes I have used over the years. This is my favorite way to make spinach salad. Depending on my mood and ingredients the salad changes. When strawberries aren't in season I use cut up apples, pears or mandarin oranges. When my jeans are feeling tight, I loose the bacon. When I have run that day I use brown sugar caramelized pecans. And at times I swap out the feta cheese for finely shredded mozzarella. But this it the ultimate for me:

My favorite spinach salad

1 head romaine lettuce, cut up
1 bunch spinach with stems removed
1 pint strawberries cut up
1 cup craisens
1/2 red onion cut up
1/2 c feta cheese
almonds, preferably candied
4 pieces bacon cut up, cooked, drained and cooled

Combine all the ingredients. Toss with a dressing of:

1/2 c sugar
1/2 Tbsp dry mustard
1/2 c oil
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1 - 1 1/2 Tbsp poppy seeds

Now I have made several variations on this recipe:

 1. Fruit spinach salad: only spinach with a combination of blackberries, strawberries, mangoes, raspberries, blueberries, mandarin oranges, feta cheese, craisens and candied nuts

2. Candied nuts: I use whatever nuts I have on hand.  I will buy the glazed nuts at the store.  I will heat up a little butter in a skillet, toss in some brown sugar and walnuts/pecans/almonds and stir until carmalized.  Then I will cool the nuts on wax paper and break into pieces.  I will also bring 1 cup water and 2/3 c sugar to a boil and boil whatever nuts I am using for 2 minutes and then drain them on a paper towel.  They taste sweet but not overly sweet this way.